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Old 18-08-2008, 20:56   #16
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I agree with your point about using Pepper Spray inside the cabin.

On Exit Only you can easily hit your intended target without spraying inside the cabin. We have eight opening hatches, seven portholes to the outside, and two portholes into the cockpit. There is no place an intruder could hide from Pepper Spray on our catamaran. Because we are a catamaran with a broad beam and so many opening ports/hatches, the advantage is ours when it comes time to use Pepper Spray.
In other words, Dave has plenty of gunports.
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Old 18-08-2008, 21:24   #17
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I worked aboard a yacht that was armed to the teeth with hanguns, shotguns and long guns.

That made me very nervous because all that stuff was locked up, not immediately accessible.

I have mixed opinions on the subject.

If you shoot someone on your boat while you are in Baltimore Maryland...you WILL go to jail. Defense of property is not a legal use of deadly force.
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Old 18-08-2008, 22:00   #18
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I worked aboard a yacht that was armed to the teeth with hanguns, shotguns and long guns.

That made me very nervous because all that stuff was locked up, not immediately accessible.

I have mixed opinions on the subject.

If you shoot someone on your boat while you are in Baltimore Maryland...you WILL go to jail. Defense of property is not a legal use of deadly force.
I considered guns and gunports, and ultimately went for the Pepper Spray.

I decided against guns on board because as a physician I have treated so many innocent people injured by guns. There was the child sleeping in her crib in her apartment, and in the apartment next door, a man was cleaning his 357 magnum, and it discharged with the bullet going through the wall, striking the baby in her chest, exiting through her shoulder, and then blowing away her eye. There was the child with bilateral blindness from being shot in the temple with severing of both optic nerves while the father was cleaning his rifle. There was the drunk patient who decided to surprise his friend by trying to climb through his bedroom window, and his best friend shot him with a shotgun. Those are just the accidents. I've treated other gunshot wounds that were not accidents. So for me, a gun and gunports wasn't an option. That's how I ended up with Pepper Spray.
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Old 18-08-2008, 22:37   #19
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Gentle Reminder...

We don't want this to turn into a guns thread, please.

Pepper spray turrets on a cruising cat is about as far as we want to take this thread...
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Old 18-08-2008, 23:43   #20
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Feel free to delete my last comment about my personal experience as a physician treating gunshot wounds. It won't hurt my feelings at all. And delete this one as well.
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Old 19-08-2008, 05:17   #21
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I installed a car burgular alarm, it is connected to the speader lights (instead of headlight) . The siren is up the mast pointing down and I have a strobe to add to it.
When arming and disarming it the spreader lights come on but not the siren.
Using the remote makes it easier to find the boat in a dark anchorage after happy hours.
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Old 19-08-2008, 15:40   #22
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Not sure if one really wants to get too carried away with the security thing - I seem to recall in one of Eric Hiscock's books that late one night in Polynesia he was awakened by a naked young woman who had entered his cabin through a hatch .

Perhaps one might want to make certain what night "visitors'" motives were before discouraging them by locking hatches, threatening with pepper spray, etc .
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Old 19-08-2008, 20:09   #23
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- I seem to recall in one of Eric Hiscock's books that late one night in Polynesia he was awakened by a naked young woman who had entered his cabin through a hatch ..
Ahhhh…the stuff of dreams…!


I am not a big fan of locking up the boat, probably because of my big ship training about fires… however, as long as it is easy to unlock from the inside… that makes sense on small crew yachts

I think your best security is “awareness”

You can break down risk into 2 basic types of exposure in a cruiser’s sailing pattern:

A/.. Night stop in a remote anchorage with no other yacht’s around and an opportunistic local out for a can of gas

B/… Extended stop with no other yacht’s around, where you wish to enjoy the solitude except for the local village that shares the anchorage. That is where deviants get to know your vulnerability.


For A/... I have developed a very comfortable, all weather, queen sized sleeping arrangement that converts in the cockpit for the 2 of us.

We can be aware of our temp anchorage and any activity around me. Drop down Privacy Screens work well so that we can see out, but no one can see in. It is actually our preferred sleeping spot when we just want to enjoy the fresh air and it is not too muggy that we run the air con inside


For B/... I am not the paranoid type, but whenever I am at an anchorage where I get the distinct feeling that some of the locals are unfriendly or opportunistic, I practice disinformation about how long we are staying and how many are onboard.

Simply put; if I feel I HAVE to sleep outside because of security issues, we don’t stay long but tell the locals that we will.


The deterrents I have are outside the scope of this discussion.
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Old 19-08-2008, 20:26   #24
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The deterrents I have are outside the scope of this discussion.

They must be pretty far out then!
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Old 19-08-2008, 22:03   #25
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While I'm not planning cruising to any exotic and/or questionable locales anytime soon, I do plan on spending a lot of time in the PNW and Alaska and safety and security are probably my two most primary concerns. Most of my securty issues are centered around running into trouble in remote areas when ashore, but secluded anchorages in remote areas are something I've given thought to.

But I've come across a lot of good suggestions in the short time I've been here... not giving out too much info on the radio when visting a marina or port, not putting the name of your boat on your dink, fibbing about the number of people onboard, etc., etc. and that has gone a long way to putting my mind at ease.

Actually, I think my all time favorite was reading of one cruisier who used an audio recording of a large barking dog hooked up to a motion sensor and reported never having any troubles. I've definitely filed that one away for future reference.

But all in all, I really don't view boat security a whole lot differently than I do for my home now. I'm a big fan of motion sensor activated lights at points of entry. I also like the idea of low light cameras conected to monitors at the helm and master stateroom so I can see the cockpit from the comfort of my bed. That, and a good set of locks should take care of 99% of any casual opportunists.

I'm a firm believer that situational awareness is everything and your brain is your best weapon. Complacency is what gets you into trouble. Just because yesterday was a non-evenful day is no guarantee tomorrow will end the same.

Brett
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Old 19-08-2008, 22:08   #26
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I don't know about a motion sensor on a boat. I could imagine the neighbors getting frustrated and pulling the shore power cable on the barking boat after a number of boats have run their wake through the marina.
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Old 20-08-2008, 07:38   #27
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a long thin wire attached to the boom which is loaded and can swing cross the cockpit; main sail will be down and adding weight on the boom; when the wire is cut the boom will send the visitor overboard; or when the wire is cut the boom falls on the cockpit/ cabin door; that's what macgyver would do
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Old 20-08-2008, 17:11   #28
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Old 20-08-2008, 19:00   #29
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Pepper Spray?

I like Dan's ideas but would make one minor alteration. It is my understanding that in a lot of locations outside the US pepper spray is also considered a 'weapon' and may be confiscated by the local authorities.

I would like to postulate that a spritz bottle of ammonia would get the same results (possibly better) and not raise any eyebrows. After all, it's common sold in lots of places in bulk as floor cleaner. Just don't dilute it in the spray bottle.

If you've never experienced it, unfortunately I have, a hit in the upper extremities will cause involuntary jerk and recoil backwards (hopefully over the side!) Best of all, clean up and first aid are pretty much the same thing - rinse with water.

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Old 20-08-2008, 21:36   #30
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I like Dan's ideas but would make one minor alteration. It is my understanding that in a lot of locations outside the US pepper spray is also considered a 'weapon' and may be confiscated by the local authorities.

I would like to postulate that a spritz bottle of ammonia would get the same results (possibly better) and not raise any eyebrows. After all, it's common sold in lots of places in bulk as floor cleaner. Just don't dilute it in the spray bottle.

If you've never experienced it, unfortunately I have, a hit in the upper extremities will cause involuntary jerk and recoil backwards (hopefully over the side!) Best of all, clean up and first aid are pretty much the same thing - rinse with water.
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Your suggestion is interesting.

I have been in locations where Pepper Spray was illegal, but I never was anywhere around the world that the authorities asked if I had it on board. We never made an attempt to conceal it, but since the dispensers aren't much larger than a lipstick container, they don't attract attention. But the authorities might have given us grief if we ever used it.

I think the main challenge of ammonia would be having it readily available to use when needed in an emergency.

How would you prepare the ammonia so that it was ready to use in an emergency?
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